The Bronzeville neighborhood is buzzing with the arrival of a new restaurant unlike anything else in the neighborhood. It’s a place for fine wine, creative cocktails and a menu for all tastes.
NBC 5 food guy Steve Dolinsky says it’s no surprise that neighbors have embraced it.
While the excellent Honey One has its ribs, tips and links down the street, now South Cottage Grove has an option for wine geeks, foodies and most importantly, a place for the community to gather and celebrate.
Are the cocktails colorful and creative? Perhaps it’s the bowl of thinly sliced fried sweet potato ribbons gracing almost every table.
“We really wanted to make sure there was a nice row of black businesses located on Cottage Grove Avenue,” said co-owner Cecilia Cuff.
So for every wagyu beef burger topped with comte cheese, onions and black truffle aioli, there’s also a vegetarian counterpoint, like fried Brussels sprouts in a sesame topping, topped with strands of pepper. It’s a constant dilemma for homeowners.
“How do we have a mostly vegan menu that doesn’t feel like a vegan menu or that isn’t an afterthought?” said Cuff.
That’s why you’ll see a thick watermelon steak on the menu. A piece of the fruit is sealed tightly, mixed with fresh garlic and thyme as well as mushrooms, then served over a vegan feta cheese with a little romesco sauce, surrounded by a honeydew vinaigrette.
Salmon is also grilled with garlic and thyme, but these Ora King steaks are coated with smoked trout roe and earthy mushrooms. A Japanese accent comes from the fine flakes of bonito made from smoked and dried tuna, as well as dashi spilled on the table.
There’s a wine club too, though you can order a glass of something unique from their compact and thoughtful list.
“We really wanted to be able to celebrate a different kind of wine experience,” said Cuff. “Being able to push people a little bit beyond their limits. We have great preservation that will allow you to have a $200 bottle of wine, but try just one glass.”
Here’s where you can go:
4420 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
“I wanted to make sure that the customers in this neighborhood could have an experience that you would have at the West Loop or Michigan Avenue or anywhere in the world where you can dress up, get together, celebrate and actually be able to use the opportunity to grab a bite to eat. delicious, maybe something you haven’t tried before.”